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Good Chain Lube??? Mines WD40. :P

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Good Chain Lube??? Mines WD40. :P

Old 04-25-19, 02:42 AM
  #151  
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Originally Posted by CrowSeph View Post
Graphite , this sound now to me. Do you have other information?
Only thing I know about graphite as a lubricant is the zippers on the removable arms of my cycling jacket ceased a couple of times and having got it free googled how to stop zippers ceasing and there were a number of different threads saying use a pencil on the zipper, it worked initially and made it a lot smoother but I've just tried it several months later and it's ceased again.

Might try some dry lube on it and see how that works when I manage to get it free again.
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Old 04-25-19, 03:15 AM
  #152  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
Only thing I know about graphite as a lubricant is the zippers on the removable arms of my cycling jacket ceased a couple of times and having got it free googled how to stop zippers ceasing and there were a number of different threads saying use a pencil on the zipper, it worked initially and made it a lot smoother but I've just tried it several months later and it's ceased again.

Might try some dry lube on it and see how that works when I manage to get it free again.
Use WD40.
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Old 04-25-19, 04:44 AM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
Use WD40.

Yeah .... but it stinks
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Old 04-26-19, 05:37 AM
  #154  
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Just out of interest, does anyone ride their bikes with NO lube at all applied to the chain?
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Old 04-26-19, 05:59 AM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
You can spray WD-40 all over your bike, if you want to. But it's not a lubricant.
Thats actually a good way to maintain a bike. I have been doing it this way for 40 plus years. A regular spray and wipe down of the frame and components keeps my bikes running smooth.
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Old 04-26-19, 06:05 AM
  #156  
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Originally Posted by CycleryNorth81 View Post
So use silicone. That is the answer to that problem.
Precisely what was recommended and what I use.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:06 PM
  #157  
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We read "..water displacement.." and "..not a lube.." so many times, it becomes fact without any evidence.

Anyway, this was something different:

Originally Posted by Petros98223 View Post
(snip) I made a mix of paraffin wax and powered graphite (sold as lock lubricant), smeared it on the chain (after I cleaned it) and used a heat gun to get it to melt into the chain. I did not even have to remove the chain from the bike, I did it right on the bicycle.(snip)
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Old 04-29-19, 05:13 PM
  #158  
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I use BreakFree. I figure its the same as TriFlow but easier to get in bulk non aerosol bottles.
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Old 04-30-19, 10:42 AM
  #159  
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What it comes down to is this: Do you want minimally adequate lube, or good (better) lube?

I've used WD40 in a pinch when I had nothing else. It's better than dry. But it's not best, and fairly close to the bottom.

Bike chains don't operate at high speeds or high heat, but there is a very small bearing area on modern bike chain links ("bushing-less"), and coupled with pedal forces, the unit pressure at the pivot points is high enough to get rapid wear (and thus chain "stretch") quickly without lube. Lubes designed for that kind of pressure, with bigger molecules, work better than WD-40.

If you are in the middle of nowhere and have nothing but WD40, go for it. Otherwise, I would recommend something better (and not expensive, everything from motor oil to gear lube would be better, and cheap).
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Old 04-30-19, 12:01 PM
  #160  
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
WD makes a mess when it's wet and seems to break down oil and leave a rusty chain if your not careful. I use it on rusty chains too loosen crud and help remove rust then dry it completely and spray silicone, a dry lubricant. It makes a chain clean to handle and doesn't attract dirt and get gritty..
I've been using WD-40 as a solvent to clean the chain, then let it evaporate overnight, and apply Tri-Flow. It's been working well for me. I took a closer look at the standard variety WD-40 label and it does in fact says one of the properties is to "Lubricate moving parts such as Hinges, Wheels, Rollers, Chains, Gears". As others have said, I wouldn't use it as a chain lube as their are better, longer lasting choices.
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Old 04-30-19, 12:42 PM
  #161  
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch View Post
What it comes down to is this: Do you want minimally adequate lube, or good (better) lube?

I've used WD40 in a pinch when I had nothing else. It's better than dry. But it's not best, and fairly close to the bottom.

Bike chains don't operate at high speeds or high heat, but there is a very small bearing area on modern bike chain links ("bushing-less"), and coupled with pedal forces, the unit pressure at the pivot points is high enough to get rapid wear (and thus chain "stretch") quickly without lube. Lubes designed for that kind of pressure, with bigger molecules, work better than WD-40.

If you are in the middle of nowhere and have nothing but WD40, go for it. Otherwise, I would recommend something better (and not expensive, everything from motor oil to gear lube would be better, and cheap).
Your point might be valid if oils provided longer chain life. However chain wear seems to be independent of what kind of lubrication you use. There is a chart above showing wear vs lubricant but I canít find anything on where it comes from. Even taking that chart at face value, the amount of wear between the minimum and maximum is pretty small. Micrometers squared is a really tiny amount of wear.

As to molecular size, thatís not necessarily a measure of lubricity. The oil in WD40 is in the 50 carbon range which is similar to what motor oil has. Thick oils with high molecular size are ideal for mechanisms under heavy loads with rough gears while light oil is good for light loads and polished gears. The latter certainly describes bicycles. The only load on the bike is what load that can be generated by the riderís weight. There is no need for a heavier oil for protection due to ďheavyĒ loads.
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Old 04-30-19, 01:56 PM
  #162  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Your point might be valid if oils provided longer chain life. However chain wear seems to be independent of what kind of lubrication you use. There is a chart above showing wear vs lubricant but I canít find anything on where it comes from. Even taking that chart at face value, the amount of wear between the minimum and maximum is pretty small. Micrometers squared is a really tiny amount of wear.

As to molecular size, thatís not necessarily a measure of lubricity. The oil in WD40 is in the 50 carbon range which is similar to what motor oil has. Thick oils with high molecular size are ideal for mechanisms under heavy loads with rough gears while light oil is good for light loads and polished gears. The latter certainly describes bicycles. The only load on the bike is what load that can be generated by the riderís weight. There is no need for a heavier oil for protection due to ďheavyĒ loads.
Here

If you followed the link to the other chain lube thread, the link was provided in the first sentence of the first post.

BTW: Humans can generate a huge amount of peak torque. 100 kilos standing on a 175mm crank arm is 175 newton meters of torque. Multiply that times 100 rpm...That's close to 2.5 horse power if it were sustained for a sprint. (Yikes) But figure in 1500 watts (2 horse power peak) times 1 crank revolution...Like a BMX race, for example. Thats North of 14,000 Newton-meters. Now divide that by the area on the side of the pin in the link that actually takes the load. The force the lubricant must resist (14,000 * .5=28,000) An incredible amount of force, indeed.
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Old 05-01-19, 10:06 AM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Here

If you followed the link to the other chain lube thread, the link was provided in the first sentence of the first post.
The link in the other post didnít work.

Having scanned the paper...itís rather long...I have some interesting observations. First, the chart that you is only part of the story. Yes, the wear measured in the paper was less for the thicker oils. However, the other side of the story is told in the chart shown in Figure 3.2: Coefficient of friction results and corresponding power loss values for common bicycle chain lubricants. (I canít seem to cut and past the chart). The oils that gave the least amount of wear also gave amoung the highest wattage loss and highest coefficients of friction.

Additionally, the wear measurement is made in clean laboratory conditions, which is stated in the conclusion of the paper. It appears that the ďfuture workĒ has not been performed as of yet. Adding in grit and dirt should drastically change the results.

BTW: Humans can generate a huge amount of peak torque. 100 kilos standing on a 175mm crank arm is 175 newton meters of torque. Multiply that times 100 rpm...That's close to 2.5 horse power if it were sustained for a sprint. (Yikes) But figure in 1500 watts (2 horse power peak) times 1 crank revolution...Like a BMX race, for example. Thats North of 14,000 Newton-meters. Now divide that by the area on the side of the pin in the link that actually takes the load. The force the lubricant must resist (14,000 * .5=28,000) An incredible amount of force, indeed.
But that is transient peak force which has little effect on the wear of the chain. More normal wear is going to be a fraction of that. Even the peak force is a tiny fraction of what you would expect on a similar chain when used in a motorcycle with even a modest engine.
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Old 05-01-19, 12:05 PM
  #164  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Your point might be valid if oils provided longer chain life. However chain wear seems to be independent of what kind of lubrication you use. There is a chart above showing wear vs lubricant but I can’t find anything on where it comes from. Even taking that chart at face value, the amount of wear between the minimum and maximum is pretty small. Micrometers squared is a really tiny amount of wear.

As to molecular size, that’s not necessarily a measure of lubricity. The oil in WD40 is in the 50 carbon range which is similar to what motor oil has. Thick oils with high molecular size are ideal for mechanisms under heavy loads with rough gears while light oil is good for light loads and polished gears. The latter certainly describes bicycles. The only load on the bike is what load that can be generated by the rider’s weight. There is no need for a heavier oil for protection due to “heavy” loads.
The charts and scientific studies referenced by others here show large differences in chain wear with different lubes, however under clean laboratory conditions. Your notes about grit and contamination are valid.

"Mircrometers squared is a really tiny amount of wear." Not if each pivot point, multiplied by the number of pivots which is 2X the number of links so over 200.

I used to use hot wax lube (before I became an engineer), totally dry and clean, seemed to work great, but required frequent refreshing at enormous time, and while it did minimize contamination, based on what I know now, I'm sure it wasn't the best lube, as my monthly soak would precipitate out significant small metal powder. And with no oil, forget about biking in the rain. I didn't know as much then and used the chain too long, to the point of the cogs cupping (although since they were pre-hyperglide, I was able to reverse them and they worked fine .

The forces (per unit area, i.e., pressure) at the chain pivot points (much smaller than the chain rollers) are significant, especially when in a small cog and climbing out of the saddle as the force is higher AND the links are pivoting more around the smaller cog. And if the chain line is off, asymmetrical link loading so pressure is even higher. Even intermittent, the loads are high enough for abrasive wear, fretting, and even galling (though galling is more a factor of similar hardness between moving parts of generally low hardness, this tends to be avoided by design).

Wet lubes grab more grit, but flow back into each link pivot when unloaded on the other side of the chainring ("bottom" of chain loop). Thicker lubes do protect better, though do add more friction as the links pivot; a big factor for racers, who don't care about chain durability. I care more about durability so if I don't notice the increased friction, I go thicker. Notably in one study linked above, an "anti-wear" additive reduced chain wear significantly. My guess is the additive is a "high-pressure" additive, not known, but I think this proves that the pressures at the link pivots can be relatively high.

What keeps me from cleaning my chain more often is the pain of using a chain tool, especially 9+ speed chains with pins not designed for re-use. I think I'm gonna add a master link to be able to pull the chain off easier and more often.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 05-01-19 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 05-01-19, 12:11 PM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The link in the other post didnít work.

Having scanned the paper...itís rather long...I have some interesting observations. First, the chart that you is only part of the story. Yes, the wear measured in the paper was less for the thicker oils. However, the other side of the story is told in the chart shown in Figure 3.2: Coefficient of friction results and corresponding power loss values for common bicycle chain lubricants. (I canít seem to cut and past the chart). The oils that gave the least amount of wear also gave amoung the highest wattage loss and highest coefficients of friction.

Additionally, the wear measurement is made in clean laboratory conditions, which is stated in the conclusion of the paper. It appears that the ďfuture workĒ has not been performed as of yet. Adding in grit and dirt should drastically change the results.



But that is transient peak force which has little effect on the wear of the chain. More normal wear is going to be a fraction of that. Even the peak force is a tiny fraction of what you would expect on a similar chain when used in a motorcycle with even a modest engine.
Peak forces, even short intermittent, have a great impact on total wear, as it can damage the surfaces if the design or lube do not prevent that. Same is also true for short peak forces on fatigue wear of parts; a common question in fatigue studies is "What is the ten-occurrence load?", i.e., a high load that only occurs ten times in the lifetime of the part. It matters.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:57 PM
  #166  
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As chain lubrication and whether to WD 40 or what alternative oil is best comes up so often and I got caught up in chasing it for a while but have decided that whilst I've recently bought a new can of wet lube I'll use that until it's done and then either switch to 3 in 1 or car oil as at the end of the day as long as you keep it lubricated with something is it honestly going to make that much difference ... it's not like we're going to make 10,000 miles worth of difference to one chain ... and they're only £20 for a named brand anyway.

I think as long as it's regularly oiled and can moved freely and wiped cleaned from time to time what'll make more difference is monitoring your chain as it stretches and change before it damages the sprockets and cleaning the sprockets / jockey wheels regularly so there's no debris everything can move freely.

I got a proper chain measuring tool at Xmas, will monitor until it's at 0.5 for the 1st two chains and the switch but keep them and with the let 3rd it get to 0.75 and then go back the other way and use the previous 2 chains until they get to 0.75.

You'll probably get several thousand miles out of 3 chains before you need to change the rear sprocket and probably won't have done any damage to the chainrings ... they reckon you'll be at changing the 2nd sprocket when you need to do the chainrings as well and if I'm getting that sort of mileage / low maintenance is your life really worth fretting over whether you might of got 10 instead of 9 thousand miles out of your bike by using an oil which is probably highly promoted / advertised and costs a lot more more than offsetting the extra 1 k miles in reality is just marketing hype and complete B*l&*s and no different to say 3 in 1.

I might use WD 40 to clean the chain and help disperse water before using compressed air to dry it properly and then apply a proper lubricant.

Just my 2p's worth of chain opinion.
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Old 05-01-19, 10:28 PM
  #167  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
As chain lubrication and whether to WD 40 or what alternative oil is best comes up so often and I got caught up in chasing it for a while but have decided that whilst I've recently bought a new can of wet lube I'll use that until it's done and then either switch to 3 in 1 or car oil as at the end of the day as long as you keep it lubricated with something is it honestly going to make that much difference ... it's not like we're going to make 10,000 miles worth of difference to one chain ... and they're only £20 for a named brand anyway.

I think as long as it's regularly oiled and can moved freely and wiped cleaned from time to time what'll make more difference is monitoring your chain as it stretches and change before it damages the sprockets and cleaning the sprockets / jockey wheels regularly so there's no debris everything can move freely.

I got a proper chain measuring tool at Xmas, will monitor until it's at 0.5 for the 1st two chains and the switch but keep them and with the let 3rd it get to 0.75 and then go back the other way and use the previous 2 chains until they get to 0.75.

You'll probably get several thousand miles out of 3 chains before you need to change the rear sprocket and probably won't have done any damage to the chainrings ... they reckon you'll be at changing the 2nd sprocket when you need to do the chainrings as well and if I'm getting that sort of mileage / low maintenance is your life really worth fretting over whether you might of got 10 instead of 9 thousand miles out of your bike by using an oil which is probably highly promoted / advertised and costs a lot more more than offsetting the extra 1 k miles in reality is just marketing hype and complete B*l&*s and no different to say 3 in 1.

I might use WD 40 to clean the chain and help disperse water before using compressed air to dry it properly and then apply a proper lubricant.

Just my 2p's worth of chain opinion.
I'd like to have a chain stretch tool but I'm too cheap. I instead use the time-tested tool of... a tape measure (inches). Chain links are 1/2" pitch, it's very easy to measure. It doesn't need to be kept under tension, you just need to pull it taut when laid down. Center the 1" mark on the first pin or hole, then follow the tape up to see progressive deviation along the chain. You need to do this because you can have enough stretch for the last pin to line up at the next 1/2" mark. Park Tool says replace if it's off by more than 1/16" over 12", that's 24 links, so for a chain about 120 links long that equals about 5/16", or 5/8 of a link.

"Only 20 pounds" for a chain? Hey buddy that's beer money!

Damaging the sprockets: Clearly a stretched chain does, but I wonder about this. I serviced a bike with a badly skipping drivetrain, badly rusted and stretched chain. Replaced the chain, still skipped, replaced the loose freehub body, still skipped, finally replaced the cogs, skip gone. The cogs didn't look that bad but under close exam were slightly cupped on the four smaller ones. The happens because one link is pulling (loaded) more than all the rest around the cog, however the effect is the same on all the teeth, so while it opens up the valley between the teeth, the pitch in tension should still be the same, and even loading with a new chain. And I've had cogs and chain worn worse that didn't skip (but I noticed so replaced the chain and reversed the sprockets (pre-hyperglide).

I agree to not sweat small differences in wear, but I think the difference between a lube without anti-wear additives and one with them is quite significant, as one of the studies linked above showed. Recently I have been using 3-in-1 oil but I think I'm going to try motor oil and gear lube, both of which have high-pressure additives.
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Old 05-02-19, 01:19 AM
  #168  
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Rock N Roll Gold Chain lube is $6.66 at Walmart. A brand new KMC Z72 chain is $6.44 at Amazon. Which one should I buy? I think the new chain will give me more miles than the 4 oz. lube.
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Old 05-02-19, 02:10 AM
  #169  
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch View Post

"Only 20 pounds" for a chain? Hey buddy that's beer money!
Oh yeah .... I totally get that
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Old 05-02-19, 02:24 PM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by CycleryNorth81 View Post
Rock N Roll Gold Chain lube is $6.66 at Walmart. A brand new KMC Z72 chain is $6.44 at Amazon. Which one should I buy? I think the new chain will give me more miles than the 4 oz. lube.
Dang, that is cheap for a 7/8 speed chain. I had been partial to Shimano first and SRAM second, but that's so cheap, I may have to try it, KMC is a known brand. This is also why I love 7/8 speed components, they're dirt cheap. 9-speed stuff may have dropped in price now that there is 10 and 11 speed on the market.
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Old 05-13-19, 07:42 AM
  #171  
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I dont see any mention of Tri-Flow is it a total non starter ?
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Old 05-13-19, 09:24 AM
  #172  
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Originally Posted by Bent Bill View Post
I dont see any mention of Tri-Flow is it a total non starter ?
I bought a gallon ~15 years ago, and am still using it;
Both on the bicycles, and the motorcycle.
Most important thing is to know is that it contains a solvent which needs at least 24hrs to evaporate.
Use the bike before that, and it will splatter everywhere.
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Old 05-13-19, 11:25 AM
  #173  
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I USE WHITE lithium grease from a squeeze tube like tooth paste tube and it works great.
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Old 05-13-19, 11:44 AM
  #174  
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chain lube

i use white lithium grease from a squeeze tube...works great and lasts a long time.
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Old 05-13-19, 10:12 PM
  #175  
KLiNCK
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Bikes: 2012 Specialized Sirrus , 2012 Specialized Roubaix Comp

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Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
Just out of interest, does anyone ride their bikes with NO lube at all applied to the chain?

You don't need a bell either! Win-win!!
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